05/17/2010 - UPDATE: Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has opened the way to oil and gas exploration off the south-west of WA in an area currently being considered for protection by Environment Minister Peter Garrett.
The area, known as the Mentelle Basin, covers more than 13,000 sqkm of ocean off Margaret River and was being assessed for inclusion in a marine sanctuary because of its unique qualities, pristine environment and rich biodiversity of marine life.
Michelle Grady from Pew Environment Group and Save Our Marine Life Alliance said important feeding grounds would now be placed at risk of any oil spill or other pollution.
"The actions of the Federal Resources Minister stand in stark contrast to those of the President Obama, who put a freeze on all new oil and gas approvals off the United States within days of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill," Ms Grady said.
"The Minister has jumped the gun on critical protection of the marine environment."
Read the full article, Oil Exploration off SW Approved, on The West Australian's Web site.